It’s a rainy Chicago Saturday in April, and the bookstore is full. A mother and a young child wait in line to check out a thick fantasy book, which the child is gripping tightly. “Some stores are chains, like McDonald’s. They’re in every city. But then think of a restaurant that’s only unique to one city, it’s special and only in that place,” the mother explains to the child.
The country saw its 4th Annual Independent Bookstore Day last Saturday, April 29. At the same time, Chicago saw its first Bookstore Challenge. The challenge, created in part with the Chicago Bookstore Alliance, asks book-lovers to attend 10 different participating independent bookstores, spend $25 at the first, and receive 10% off at each participating store for the next year.
In a time when the first brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstore has come to Chicago (on Southport Avenue), local bookstores have banded together more than ever, turning their competition into a common thread. In this gallery, bookstore-goers at Unabridged and Women & Children First enjoy the day reading with each other.